Megaworld starts construction of Iloilo Business Park project

Property developer Megaworld Corp. is starting its construction of the 54.5-hectare Iloilo Business Park project, the company said Friday.

Megaworld told the Philippine Stock Exchange that it is earmarking an initial P2.5 billion over the next two years to develop the road network within the IT park and for the construction of Richmonde Hotel Iloilo and Richmonde Tower plus two more BPO office towers within the period.

The first retail component of the project, Festive Walk, will be completed in the latter part of 2012, after which Megaworld is set to invest more to bankroll the development until 2020.

The site of the project is the former Iloilo Airport, which Megaworld acquired from the National Government in 2007 for P1.2 billion in cash.

“With our groundbreaking rites today, we affirm the strong business prospects of Iloilo City and the Western Visayas region in particular. The Iloilo Business Park is an important component of the BPO triangle I am envisioning that will make the Philippines an exciting and thriving BPO destination worldwide," said Andrew Tan, Megaworld chairman and chief executive officer.

The groundbreaking ceremonies for Richmonde Hotel Iloilo and Richmonde Tower mark the first projects to be started within the Iloilo Business Park. The 12-story hotel will host 90 guest rooms, ranging from superior rooms to junior suites.

Richmonde Hotel Iloilo is the third project of Megaworld under this hotel brand. The hotel is projected to serve businessmen and tourists.

The Richmonde Tower will occupy the second to sixth floors of the hotel, offering more than 9,000 square meters of office space for BPO locators. Both projects are scheduled for completion within the next two years.

Since the Iloilo Business Park was granted a certification by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as an IT park in January 2010, BPO locators at Richmonde Tower will be entitled to exclusive perks such as income tax holidays, duty-free importation of office equipment and repatriation of earnings, among others. At 54.5 hectares, Iloilo Business Park is the largest IT park yet of publicly-listed Megaworld.

Megaworld is projecting that Iloilo Business Park will fill more than 24,000 seats for the BPO sector, whereas its retail component will infuse more than 200,000 square meters of space for the commercial sector. -- CMA/OMG, GMA News